Posted by AL.COM Written By Leada Gore
50 worst places to live
Five Alabama cities have earned the dubious distinction of being on a list of the 50 worst places to live in America.
Economy, crime, quality of life factored in
The list was compiled by 24/7 WallStreet using an index of more than two dozen measures in four categories: affordability, economy, quality of life and community. Included in those categories were things such as home values, cost of living, unemployment, poverty and crime rates, hospitalizations and household income. You can go here to see a complete list of the methodology.
Heavy concentrations in South and West
Though the cities on this list span every region of the country, they are overwhelmingly concentrated in the South and the West, 24/7 Wall Street reported. Only a dozen of the 50 cities on this list are in the Midwest or Northeast.
Arab 35th worst place
Arab in Marshall County was named the 35th worst place to live. With a population of 8,200, Arab has a poverty rate of almost 18 percent, with a violent crime rate of 549 per 100,000 people, placing it in the top 25 percent. Its median home value is $143,800.
What they said about Arab
“Few U.S. cities are shedding jobs faster than the northern Alabama city of Arab. In the last five years, the number of people working in the city declined by 9.8 percent, even as employment across the U.S. as a whole climbed by 6.1 percent.
Crime is also a problem in Arab. There were 6,217 property crimes — which include burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft — for every 100,000 people in Arab, more than double the 2,362 per 100,000 property crime rate nationwide.”
Fairfield 34th worst place
Fairfield came in as the 34th worst place to live. The city, population 10,850, has a poverty rate of 26 percent – placing it in the top 25 percent – and a violent crime rate of 1,905 per 100,000 people, or the top 10 percent. Median home value is $96,100, or the bottom 25 percent.
What they said about Fairfield
“The typical home in Fairfield, Alabama, is worth just $96,100 — less than half the median home price nationwide. Real estate markets are often a reflection of what residents can afford, and many in Fairfield are struggling financially. The median annual household income is just over $36,000, and more than a quarter of residents live below the poverty line.
Fairfield’s job market lags behind that of most other U.S. cities. The city’s five-year unemployment rate is 7 percent compared to 4.1 percent nationwide. Over the past five years, employment growth in the city has been slower than average.”
Prichard 12th worst place
Prichard landed just outside the top 10 of the list of worst places to live in the U.S. The poverty rate in the city of about 22,000 people is 35 percent, placing it in the top 10 percent. Its violent crime rate is 1,826 per 100,000 people, also in the top 10 percent, while its median home value – $67,400 – is in the bottom 10 percent.
What they said about Prichard
“Over the past five years, the number of jobs in Prichard, Alabama has decreased by nearly 17 percent, one of the highest rates of job losses anywhere in the country. Over the same period, employment climbed 6.1 percent nationwide.
Prichard, near Mobile in southern Alabama, has a median annual household income of $25,818 — less than half of the U.S. median. Prichard, like many other low income areas on this list, is losing residents. In the last five years, Prichard’s population dropped by 3.4 percent.”
Anniston 9th worst place
Anniston was number nine on the list of worst places to live. The town of 22,097 people has a poverty rate of 30 percent, placing it in the top 10 percent. Its violent crime rate – 3,434 per 100,000 people – is in the top 10 percent while its median home value of $95,700 is within the bottom 25 percent.
What they said about Anniston
“Like many cities on this list, Anniston, Alabama, is losing residents. In the last five years, Anniston’s population declined by 4.2 percent. Over the same period, the number of people working in the city fell by a staggering 10.9 percent.
The city’s population decline may be attributable to low incomes and a high violent crime rate. The typical household in Anniston earns just $32,070 a year. Additionally, there were 3,434 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in Anniston in 2017, the most of any city in the country.”
Bessemer 6th worst place
Bessemer in Jefferson County has a population of 26,697. Its poverty rate of 30 percent is in the top 10 percent and its violent crime rate is 2,986 out of 100,000 people. Its median home value of $84,000 is in the bottom 10 percent.
What they said about Bessemer
“With 2,986 violent crimes reported per 100,000 residents a year, Bessemer, Alabama, has the second highest violent crime rate in the nation, trailing only Anniston, Alabama. Bessemer also has the sixth highest property crime rate with nearly 9,800 reported property crimes per 100,000 residents.
In addition to high crime, residents face a number of economic challenges. Nearly 30 percent of residents live in poverty, and more than one in three residents have low access to grocery store or super markets. The typical Bessemer home earns less than $32,000 a year, well below the U.S. median annual household income of $57,652.”
The worst place to live in the U.S.?
That would be Mendota, California.
The town has a population of 11,396 with a poverty rate of 50 percent. The city has a violent crime rate of 646 out of 100,000 people and a median home value of $139,000.
What they said about Mendota
“For both individuals and broad populations, incomes tend to rise with educational attainment. In Mendota, California, just 1.8 percent of adults have a bachelor’s degree, the smallest share of any U.S. city. The city also has one of the poorest populations in the country. Half of all households earn less than $27,500 a year, and 49.5 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.
The widespread financial insecurity is partially attributable to a lack of jobs. The Census estimates that an average of 15.4 percent of the city’s labor force were unemployed in the last five years, the highest unemployment rate of any U.S. city and more than triple the comparable 4.1 percent national rate.”